New Kid in Town: Jackie Robinson Joins UCLA Football Squad

Seven years before he broke baseball’s long-standing color barrier, Jackie Robinson was better known as a UCLA football player.

Today’s Vintage Photo of the Day is an image from the late summer of 1940.  For the country, World War II was still more than a year away and the 1940 UCLA Football Jackie RobinsonUCLA program was one of few that were integrated.

Robinson is shown leaping into the air for the photographer , wearing the number 28.   He had arrived on campus after a standout two-year athletic career at Pasadena City College.

It’s one of the featured items at RMY Auctions, which wraps up its March event tonight.

Jackie made a big impact in two years on the Westwood campus, becoming the first Bruin to earn letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track.  At the time, his baseball skills lagged behind what he accomplished in the other three.

The photo measures 4 3/4’” by 5 ½” and has been trimmed from a larger size, likely for use in a newspaper during that time.

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